Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts is a KultureCity(R) Certified Sensory Inclusive Venue

The Annenberg Center, Penn Live Arts' headquarters, is the first exclusively arts venue in Philadelphia to be designated sensory inclusive.

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Penn Live Arts, in partnership with KultureCity, has announced that the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is officially certified as a Sensory Inclusive venue. This new initiative, which benefits all programs and events held within the Annenberg Center, will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests to the venue. The Annenberg Center, Penn Live Arts' headquarters, is the first exclusively arts venue in Philadelphia to be designated sensory inclusive.

The sensory inclusive certification process ensures that Penn Live Arts staff are trained annually by leading medical professionals on how to recognize and respond to guests with sensory needs as well as how to handle a sensory overload situation. KultureCity Sensory Bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will be available to all guests at the Annenberg Center who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.

KultureCity is the nation's leading non-profit addressing sensory accessibility and acceptance for persons with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar invisible disabilities. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which can be a major part of the environment at a location like the Annenberg Center. With its new certification, the venue is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities and ensure the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.

Prior to attending an event at the Annenberg Center, guests can visit the Penn Live Arts website or download the free KultureCity app for detailed information about what sensory features are available and where they can be accessed. Also on the app, visitors can view the venue's social story, which provides a preview of what to expect during a visit to the Annenberg Center.

"We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment to everyone who visits the Annenberg Center," said Penn Live Arts Executive and Artistic Director Christopher A. Gruits. "Our partnership with KultureCity improves our ability to assist and accommodate guests with many different sensory needs, and enables us to offer more people the chance to engage with transformative artistic experiences."

"Our communities shape our lives and to know that Penn Live Arts is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in community experiences is amazing," said KultureCity Executive Director Uma Srivastava. "We're honored to partner with them to provide a truly inclusive experience for all guests at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts!"

All sensory inclusive features are already available at the Annenberg Center and guests may ask any usher or staff member for detailed information. In May, as part of its 2023 Philadelphia Children's Festival, Penn Live Arts will present its first designated sensory inclusive performance on Saturday, May 20 at 3 PM by BKBX Kids! in Destination: Everywhere. The performance, specifically designed to create a welcoming and comfortable arts experience for individuals with sensory sensitivities, is open to everyone.

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